FAQs

+ What is a Smart City?

Smart City is not a precise concept nor is it a product. Rather, it is a collection of technologies applied in novel ways, that improve the efficacy and efficiency of services such that the community and businesses benefit.

+ What are LPWANs, LoRa and LoRaWAN?

A crucial technology that powers Smart Cities is low power WANs (LPWAN). These allow thousands of sensors to submit data to underpin new and improved services. A leading LPWAN is LoRaWAN. It offers extremely low cost of entry together with a large global community of developers, products and experience. LoRa is the link layer communication protocols

+ What was the purpose of the kickstarting event?

We believe that there is an opportunity to build local expertise by implementing ‘minimal viable products’ (MVP) to explore and prove the capability of this technology. Whilst the components are affordable for hobbyists (and many are already using them), building meaningful applications requires co-operation and co-ordination of a number of elements. This is a role we believe can be fulfilled by a community of interested parties collaborating and with modest amounts of support and funding from local organisations, significant progress will be made. We are convinced that having the understanding and a skilled pool of people will position the regional a whole and individual organisations to drive tangible financial benefits.

We want this region to be reap benefits from the technology as quickly as possible.

+ What is special about Hull and East Yorkshire?

Hull / East Yorkshire has a number of useful and unique advantages:

  • both the City Council and the ERY Council are keen to start delivering benefits to their residents
  • two strong technology providers (Kcom and Connexin)
  • the area is discrete and does not strongly overlap with adjacent programmes
  • there is a well developed digital technology hub with strong digital capability
  • a significant lifting of ambition over recent times as a result of both new industries (renewables and logistics) and the impact of City of Culture.
  • + What are the benefits of the proposed programme?

    Benefits from the proposed programme will include:

  • Helping service providers such as Hull City and ERY Councils, the NHS and other public services to understand and develop a deep
  • understanding of the technologies that will enable them to formulate better deployment strategies and construct effective procurement plans
  • Businesses will gain an clearer perspective into new service models that would create value for their customers
  • Technology providers can explore new models for monetarising their capabilities
  • Create and support new startups that can use our local programme to refine products before expanding nationally
  • Building a progressive technology capability in the region
  • Educating young people and preparing them for high value jobs
  • + What is LoRa good for?

    LoRa is good for:

  • long range
  • battery powered devices with a long life
  • small amounts of data (tens of bytes) sent every few minutes
  • uplink messages with limited downlink
  • + What is LoRa not good for?

    LoRa is not good for:

  • time critical applications (e.g. alarms)
  • large data volumes (e.g. video)
  • two way messaging
  • + What Infrastructure is available?

    Hull already has:

  • City centre gateway connected to The Things Network (TTN)
  • Several privately owned gateways
  • An official TTN community
  • + What interest was shown?

  • Several people representing a number of key organisations indicated their willingness to be part of a steering group
  • Five organisations are willing to buy or install a gateway on their premises. This includes providing power and an internet connection
  • Hull University are already working on LoRa projects and are interested in joining a regional community programme
  • 10 - 15 people said they would be willing to pay £10 for a LoRa node kit and to join in a construction session to assemble it
  • + What is going to happen now?

  • Set up a steering group to act as a focus and to guide the programme. We will have discussions with people who are willing to take part, to better understand their interests and how they would like to participate. We will then make invitations and set up the first meeting - target April 2018
  • Identifying any short term ways of increasing the gateway coverage. HCC may be able to offer direct help. We will explore the possibility for organisations to either buy or host a gateway on their buildings.
  • Producing a kit of parts to make a LoRa node and running construction sessions. We will organise this - having wider gateway coverage would be very helpful. Target May 2018
  • Establish a newsletter to provide regular updates on progress - target March 2018
  • Set up an on-line resource providing reference information about our programme, the technology itself and relevant other projects and applications.
  • + What is The Things Network?

    The Things Network is a global, crowdsourced, open, free and decentralized internet of things network.

    The Things Network is building a network for the Internet of Things by creating abundant data connectivity, so applications and businesses can flourish.

    The technology we use is called LoRaWAN and it allows for things to talk to the internet without 3G or WiFi. So no WiFi codes and no mobile subscriptions.

    It features low battery usage, long range and low bandwidth. Perfect for the internet of things.

    There are over 3100 gateways provided by 300+ communities around the world. Hull is one of those "Things Network Communities", although it is still in its early stages.

    A handful of people can install a few gateways and provide coverage for a whole city in less than 6 months. These gateways then conect to The Things Network WAN where data packets get securely routed to their intended application.